Daily Independent (Ashland, KY)

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March 10, 2014

3 indicted in Boyd horse-shootings

CATLETTSBURG —  A Boyd County grand jury has indicted three in connection with the shootings of several horses earlier this year.

Travis Thompson, 18, and Cody Hicks, 17, both of Ashland, were indicted Monday on charges of first-degree criminal mischief, while Corey Shannon. 18, of Catlettsburg, was charged with complicity to commit criminal mischief and animal cruelty, according to a news release from the office of Boyd Commonwealth’s Attorney David Justice.

First-degree criminal mischief is a Class D felony that carries a one- to five-year prison sentence. Animal cruelty is a Class A misdemeanor that carries a maximum sentence of up to one year in jail.

According to Justice, Thompson was 17 at the time of the shootings. All three of the suspects have been certified to be tried as adults, he said.

The shootings occurred in early January. One family awoke the morning of Jan. 2. to find one of its horses dead from an apparent gunshot wound to the chest, while another horse, which had to be put down, had been shot in the stomach.

The following day, another horse, a few miles away from the first incident, had to be put down after it was shot in its back legs and paralyzed.

The Boyd County Sheriff’s Department issued a release several days later saying it had identified three suspects in the shootings. All three admitted to being involved and one confessed to pulling the trigger, the sheriff’s department said.

A grand jury indictment is a formal accusation of a crime and does not establish guilt.

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Isaiah Caperton and Ryan Ratliff, both 12 years old, ride the Star Trooper on the midway at the Boyd County fair Tuesday. KEVIN GOLDY / THE INDEPENDENT

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